Lotus Flower A Pure Beauty amidst Impure Waters

Lotus Flower: A Pure Beauty amidst Impure Waters

The lotus flower has been praised worldwide for its elegant and delicate appearance for years. Standing tall in lakes and ponds, it’s an unexpected beauty surrounded by murky water.

However, this beautiful flower is more than just its stunning color and petals. It holds a deep symbolism that is as old as some of the religions we have now. 

With this guide, explore everything you need to know about lotus flowers—their appearance, their cultural significance and symbolism, and the best ways to gift them!

Basic Facts about Lotus Flowers

Basic Facts about Lotus Flowers

Family: Nelumbonaceae
Genus: Nelumbo
Species: Nelumbo nucifera, Nelumbo lutea
Life Cycle: Perennial

Lotus flowers are members of the Nelumbonaceae family. As aquatic plants, they’re under the Nelumbo genus and have two living species: Nelumbo nucifera and Nelumbo lutea.

They were first discovered in the Indian subcontinent during Emperor Ashoka’s reign. This means lotus flowers have been around since 250 BCE.

Today, they’re mostly found across India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa, and America. 

Lotus flowers are perennial water plants that grow best in muddy, nutrient-rich water. Their roots are found on the mud of lakes or swamps, where they germinate until the stem reaches the top of the water and the flower blooms.

While the flower only blooms for a short time, the plant itself is extremely hardy, consistently producing seeds for over a hundred years. Hence, you’ll see them blooming almost every year. 

Physical Description of Lotus Flowers

Physical Description of Lotus Flowers

Lotus flowers are visually striking flowers that make every lake, swamp, and pond look more beautiful. Although they’re often confused with water lilies, lotus flowers have distinct characteristics that set them apart from any other aquatic plants.

Lotus flowers grow above the surface of the water and have several layers of pointed petals that bloom in a star-like arrangement. 

Their petals are usually white, pink, or yellow, but there are rare cases when they appear blue, red, and purple. 

The flowers can be as wide as 60 inches, depending on the body of water they reside, the temperature, and other external factors.

Around the flower, you’ll find the thin, round, papery leaves of the flower being held up by long green stems. These leaves sometimes curve to form a funnel or cup-like shape.

Meaning and Symbolism of Lotus Flowers

Lotus flowers symbolize purity, rebirth, and resilience because of their ability to emerge from murky waters and survive no matter how harsh the environment is.



If there’s one thing most white flowers have in common, it’s the fact that most of them symbolize purity. Lotus flowers, which are commonly white and pink, are not an exception to that.

Since lotus flowers grow in muddy waters, it’s easy for other people to think that they won’t be one of the flowers that symbolize purity. However, the flower’s ability to rise above the muddy water unstained is the primary reason behind this symbolism.



The lotus flower symbolizes rebirth since it can continue to bloom for years. It will sink back into the water at night, then return in the morning to display its beauty to the world.

When one flower dies, a new one blooms. No matter how many times they die, they will keep coming back as majestic as they were when they first bloomed.

In addition to that, lotus also releases hundreds of seeds each year, which will bloom into new beautiful lotus flowers.



If you look at the murky water where lotus flowers bloom, you wouldn’t think that such beautiful flowers would grow there.

However, lotus flowers can survive even the harshest conditions. Although the flowers only stay for three days, they will bloom again and again for a long period of time.

As such, lotus flowers are often used to symbolize resilience and strength.

Religious Significance of Lotus Flowers

Religious Significance of Lotus Flowers
BuddhismLotus flowers bear great significance in Buddhism. Buddha likened his enlightenment to the lotus flower blooming from the muddy waters free from dirt.

In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha teaches his followers that they, too, can reach enlightenment and that whatever their background is, they can rise above the waters like a lotus.

The flower symbolizes the purity of both the body and mind. It’s also used to represent faithfulness and spiritual awakening.

HinduismLotus flowers symbolize enlightenment, eternity, purity, rebirth, and prosperity in Hinduism.

It serves as a throne to their deities. Their goddesses, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Vishnu, are shown sitting or standing in lotus flowers.

The creator, Brahma, is also often portrayed in a lotus flower.

Although white and pink lotus flowers are often depicted in Hindu iconography, pink lotus flowers are considered to be more noble and are only used to represent those of the highest status, like gods and goddesses.

JainismIn Jainism, lotus flowers symbolize enlightenment and protection. It’s one of the four things Lord Ganesha is holding.

The religion’s founder, Jain Tirthankara Padmaprabha, is also often shown sitting or standing in a lotus flower.

ChristianityIn Christianity, lotus flowers represent the creation of the world through God’s power.

Christians equate lotus flowers growing from mud and the dark depth of the lakes to God bringing light to a dark, empty space.

The flower also appears as a throne to the Saint Thomas Christian cross and the Nestorian cross.

Lotus Flower Color Meaning

Lotus Flower Color Meaning
WhiteThe white lotus flower is one of its most common variations. Known as the “Womb of the World,” white lotus flowers symbolize purity, fertility, and peace.

They’re also often associated with beauty and grace.

PinkPink is another common color for lotus flowers. It holds significant religious symbolism and is considered Buddha’s earthly symbol.

Pink lotus flowers signify spiritual enlightenment, growth, and rebirth. They’re a great reminder of everything we’ve done so far and all the things we achieved while working hard.

RedLike most red flowers, red lotus flowers are also used to signify intense emotions like passion and selfless love.

They’re also associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune, so they can also mean generosity and prosperity.

YellowYellow lotus flowers represent wisdom and knowledge. They’re associated with Buddha’s teachings and with Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge.

Other symbolism of yellow lotus flowers includes mental clarity, happiness, and hospitality.

BlueBlue lotus flowers are extremely rare, so you may not have encountered one before. They represent tranquility and one’s search for their true self.

Like yellow flowers, they’re also associated with wisdom. Many religions, like Buddhism, also associate it with a person’s triumph over his senses and the end of suffering.

PurpleLike the blue ones, purple lotus flowers are very rare. They represent self-enlightenment, balance, righteousness, and strength.

They’re also often associated with Buddha. A lot of the imagery in Buddhism shows Buddha sitting on a purple flower.

Lotus Flower Meaning in Tattoos

Lotus Flower Meaning in Tattoos

Lotus flowers are a popular tattoo design, especially among Asians, because of their symbolism. Generally, lotus flower tattoos represent enlightenment, overcoming temptations, and rebirth or new beginnings.

The color of the flower also affects the meaning of the tattoo. When choosing what is the best color for your tattoo, refer to the meanings we previously discussed.

Another factor that can affect the meaning of the tattoo is its location in the body. A lotus tattoo on the wrist could mean you’ll always believe in what the lotus symbolizes, may it be resilience or faith.

If you put a lotus tattoo on your finger, it means you’re a very peaceful person who would never do anything that can harm others. A chest tattoo, on the other hand, shows how passionate you are about your faith and religion.

Lastly, a lotus flower tattoo on the spine would be a great idea if you want to get a tattoo to express your desire to achieve balance and stability.

Gifting Lotus Flowers

Gifting Lotus Flowers

Lotus flowers have a very majestic and elegant look, which are some of the reasons many are enchanted by their beauty. Their appearance is also one of the main reasons why it’s a popular gifting choice for a lot of people.

You can gift lotus flower arrangements to anyone for any occasion, as they mostly symbolize positive meanings. 

You can give them to someone graduating from university, getting married, or moving to a new country to let them know you wish them luck on their new journey.

You may also send some to your partner as an appreciation for staying by your side and overcoming adversities together. Another option is sending them to your relatives or friends to let them know you’re thinking about them.

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